Assessment of an energy-based surface tension model for simulation of two-phase flows using second-order phase field methods

by   Shahab Mirjalili, et al.

Second-order phase field models have emerged as an attractive option for capturing the advection of interfaces in two-phase flows. Prior to these, the state of the art models based on the Cahn-Hilliard equation, which is a fourth order equation, allowed for derivation of surface tension models through thermodynamic arguments. In contrast, the second-order phase field models do not follow a known energy law, and deriving a surface tension term for these models using thermodynamic arguments is not straight-forward. In this work, we justify that the energy-based surface tension model from the Cahn-Hilliard context can be adopted for second-order phase field models as well, and assess its performance. We test the surface tension model on three different second-order phase field equations; the conservative diffuse interface model of Chiu and Lin [1], and two models based on the modified Allen-Cahn equation introduced by Sun and Beckermann [2]. Using canonical tests, we illustrate the lower magnitude of spurious currents, better accuracy, and superior convergence properties of the energy-based surface tension model compared to the continuum surface force (CSF) model, which is a popular choice that is used in conjunction with second order phase field methods. Importantly, in terms of computational expense and parallel efficiency, the energy-based model incurs no penalty compared to the CSF model.



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